Friday, August 31, 2007

Weird Girl Recipe-Tuna Salad Surprise

I'm going to start a new feature. I don't really cook, but put things together and sometimes they taste good.

Tuna 1 Can
Mayo (I used light, you can use whatever you want)
Onion (I used dried-fresh would be good if you felt like chopping them)
Dillweed (I used organic)
Sweet and Sour Cabbage in a Jar (not the whole jar)
Pickle relish

I just mixed it so it looked like the proprotions that I would want to eat, but that Sweet and Sour Cabbage was really tasty with the tuna and the mayo and it saved it from being a bland beige thing.

Jokes on me

My brother was too nice to tell me-but the dryer was on air dry. Apparently his radar for self preservation is much stronger than my parents. We really do create much of our own misery.

Which way is up?

Dryer arrives-it does need a vent so I sent it back and walked down to my folks house where my brother is staying. All of the sudden no one was as eager to work on the dryer as they were when they were telling me that buying the first one was the wrong thing to do.

Could this be the dreaded "hormonal syndrome" or whatever they talk about with lap bands? I mean, clearly my family is crazy, but I don't usually have to retreat to bawl every few minutes.

I pulled the cubicle out of the garage, watered the roses and waved bye bye as they left for lunch. Because no crisis, plane departure or arrival, should ever, EVER conflict with appointed meal times. Now truly, I don't care when they look at the dryer, but really.

It is neat to see how my bro interacts with the family. He and Daddy were eating breakfast, Mom was having hers in the living room with me (I wasn't up to eating yet, but stopped in with a foot massager for mom). Mom to Bill-"there is more cereal on the cabinet. You are welcome to it. Don't eat too much though, we are going to lunch."

It was amazing that Bill just didn't melt down with that input. I mean, really, are you supposed to eat more cereal, not eat more cereal, eat SOME but not too much?

Again, I am hyper sensitive to food things right now, but good lord. I admire my brother. He's a bit tubby now, but it's because he overeats and he will, when he decides to, quit overeating and lose a bit of weight. He won't spend any time beating himself up about it either way. He's so damn normal.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

You can blow your nose with a nose stud

I have wondered about that-probably more since I got my nose pierced last week than before, but friends and neighbors, you CAN blow your nose with a nose stud. I haven't used the netti pot or blown my nose since the piercing, but it needed to be done, so I girded up my loins and gave it a gingerly blow.

I think I half way expected the stud to come flying out-a tiny little faux diamond spear shooting out into the bathroom ether-but nothing happened other than the standard fare. So, I blew my nose again, and again, only the usual expected result.

And, it didn't hurt. Actually, it hasn't hurt (the piercing) since a few days afterward-a very easy job. The one in my upper ear is still a little tender, but I think this one may actually heal. This was my last ditch effort to have a ring in my upper ear-tried it on a the right ear this time and it seems to be doing the trick.

What was the magic? I left it alone. Shot some saline on it, but didn't roll the hoop through it all the time-that just irritates it and spreads germs. Seems the thought processes have evolved in cartilage piercing.

No real point to this ramble other than to impart vital and perhaps little known knowledge. Myth busted.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

WHAT year is this?

Why is it when families get together we all enter a time warp and go back to some former life/self. Today's time warp left me feeling about 13 years old again. Nothing I could say or do could make an positive comment come out of either parent's mouth-and I was just telling them what I had done the night before, decisions I had made. It makes me want to run screaming-but where to?

It is really hard sharing day to day activities with people. I'm not used to it. A little more than a year ago I was by myself in Dallas doing what I damn well pleased any time it pleased me. Now I'm tackling this whole family thing again, and it hasn't ever worked out well in the past.

For instance, I feel bad because Daddy doesn't think I picked the right carport company. I really do. But it isn't that, it's how he said it-those unsaid "gosh, you're really stupids"....How old do you get to be before you no longer want parental approval?

I don't even really want approval-I'd rather be ignored quite frankly. Or better yet, a simple "oh, I bet that will look nice." Why, oh why does my carport have to be a right/wrong thing?

When I lived in Dallas, there was enough distance. Did I make a huge huge mistake in moving so close? Yet, dammit, that decision was based upon the fact that I liked this house AND they liked it-hell, Daddy found it for me.

I was going to say I can't win, but this isn't war. I don't need approval, but I do think I need a little respect and some courtesy.

Today was long and the injuries and jabs numerous-so it's not just about the carport. But, I almost didn't GET a carport because I didn't want what Daddy had and I knew that it would be an issue if I did something different. And, troublemaker that I am, I decided that I would put the carport I wanted on my own house with my own money.

Why do I care? Well, because they are my parents and I love them and I want them to love and approve of me in some shape or form. And, I don't want to think that my presence is causing them to be unhappy. Frankly, they are pretty unhappy anyway, so I don't think I'm making it worse.

But, I really do feel the same way I did when I was young and dreaming of being a jockey or a horse shoer (farrier). And, in a round about way, I've been and done a lot of things, some of them pretty damn fabulous. Maybe I should watch On Golden Pond and see how Jane and Henry handled it.

Yeah yeah I'm not alone. If they make major motion pictures about family bonds and tensions, I'm sure I'm not alone. And somehow that comforts me. Not much, but a little.

I'm going to run away from it all now-soak my feet again, put on a comfie nightie and not think about it. The nice thing about being older is we really don't have to run out the door to run away and no drugs will be involved either.

Yeah Baby I'm going to drop in the tub and drop out of society. Me and my mustard bath (Mom calls it my voodoo powder) are going to turn on and tune out. Peace, Love.

Domestic (Help) Bliss

I decided yesterday to just start making decisions. I've really been stuck stuck stuck and I hate that feeling.

Got a tree coming out to evaluate the pine tree in the front yard. Now the original husband to this house planted the tree, and Ms. D (who died here) loved that tree. But I think it's on its way out (note proper use of its, it's) and I don't want it blowing over on my car or someone elses. Besides, I can't add to the list of people I want to please a person who is no longer here-though I will continue to take good care of the roses and the fig Ms. D.

Got a siding/screen kind of company out and set up the repair of my sunroom (which will be cornflower blue on the outside and kind of sort of match the outbuilding, a single carport (brick colored to match the house) and I am screening in the weird brick picture frame flowerbed to make an atrium/dog pen/snake room. It will be white with a 24 inch kick plate and eliminate the disturbing useless square without alarming the neibhbors.

I hated making the call, I hated getting the figures, but once we got down to the swatches and colors I was all happy again. Matching the outbuilding to the sunroom and coordinating it with my red brick was a feat, but I am proudest of the snake room, which will be an entire walk in avairy for less than the price of a garden window which was my first idea, and if truth be told, less than the price of a premium snake cage. THINK BIG Pinky Dinky Do........

And then I made the call that made my heart sing-Molly Maids. Let's face it, I am never going to be Martha Stuart. I was sooooooo happy with my Maid service in Dallas-I felt in control and in charge for the first time ever of my house and it freed my mind for those other trivial things like earning money.

Now I can sit here and worry about what people will think, a quasi unemployed woman who can't (or won't clean her house) or I can get the pine sol smell running and recharge my brain with a clean house. I'm NOT my mother but I do enjoy a nice clean house and I'm willing to pay for it.

I was up front with the service about the snakes and we worked out a solution (they will clean the sunroom instead of the snake room-so all my public (ooooh, that is a funny typo when it happens) will be blissfully sparkling.

Ugh now I just have to clean the house before the maids get here.

I'm really glad I got that settled. Whew!

How not to make a protein shake

I was virtuous and froze fresh fruit the night before. I let it soften, then dumped it in the blender. Added protein powder and probiotics, all the while reflecting on the fact that I am still out of sorts. I paused in my naval gazing to ponder just why the soy milk was brown. It was white yesterday, and while I AM having trouble with change now, brown is never a good sign.

Turns out I was using beef broth. My bad. I threw it all away and built a new concoction after rejecting the urge just to go back to bed. I was soured on the whole milk idea so I added Fage yogurt instead of soy milk. More probiotics. Some green algae crap and a tablespoon of real brown sugar....YUM.

I retired to my chair with my new, improved drink, still in a bad mood. Then it hit me-pouring beef broth in a fruit drink is really kind of funny isn't it? If I called someone to whine that I poured beef broth on my fresh frozen fruit-they'd laugh at me. I know I'd laugh at them if the roles were reversed.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the goal or the process we forget to see the ultimate humor in common, everyday disasters. Like most writers, a typo can send me into peals of laughter. I truly love typos-although I like other peoples better than my own. So, why not beef broth?

Remember to enjoy your own mistakes today.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

And about that list

1. clean kitchen hmmm, it's cleaner, not clean
2 clean Bette's cage substituted Tarzan,Carrie and Hank-Bette was not in the mood and when a 7 foot python isn't in the mood it's best to listen.

3. Mow backyard well, I called the lawn service-we are all limping this week and that will take care of that

4 pay bills/mail MOVE today

5 put away groceries done

I also got a lot of reptile stuff cleaned out, made arrangements to have an estimate for repairs on my sunroom, got a notice I've been accepted in a tutoring program (as a tutor) and made some really kick ass organic foot soak-I need to take some to Mom now.

Today it was tough to get out of bed, and I'm still out of sorts. Drank too much coffee yesterday. But Hell, I've just changed my life 100% in the past year-two moves, a new family member,moved back home, two major surgeries...I really think it's OK that I'm a little nuts right now, as long as I don't stay that way.

And on and on and on

Wisdom of the day-no one is making me unhappy but me. I had a few issues lately with my parents over trivial stuff really-basic facts are I want to do X and they think I should do Y. Everyone has an opinion, but what makes ME unhappy is that I want to please them BUT I want to do what I want to do. Sound familiar?

But whose fault is that? I think it's mostly mine. If, for instance, I go with a different carport company than Daddy did, what would happen. He'll think I spent too much money. Then I have to ask myself, "so what?" I doubt I will be disowned for wanting a flat carport-hell, I didn't even get kicked out of the family for wanting to put a portable dryer in my bedroom rather than fix the one that just broke. The thing is-I COULD fix the dryer, but it would still be in the garage and I want the dryer in my bedroom so I don't have to walk to put up clothes. Lazy, yes, but I've gotten really USED to having the dryer and my clothes near each other. I LIKE it.

Ironically, my parents are always saying "why do you care what other people think?" not realizing that they voice more opinions than anyone else on the planet and are not the most tactful people.

Point of fact-I announced that I was going to take riding lessons instead of rushing out to buy a horse (if you can call 47 years a rush). But, the horse I would need now isn't the horse I would want after a year and I KNOW I don't need 2 horses and I'm not really good about letting animals go. Logical of me, isn't it? So my father rears back and says "well, I doubt you can even take lessons right now because you wouldn't be able to get on a horse if you tried."

I was calm with that one. I said "well Daddy, that's why they made mounting blocks...Fat girls have been doing it for years." I didn't point out that my good leg is the leg that I'd be pulling up with anyway-it was more dramatic to make it a fat girl issue.

The tactlessnes has gotten much worse,and it makes me sad, because I know it's age, not a mean streak. I KNOW my parents love me. And for that I am grateful. I am in touch with a lot of people who are dealing with aging parents and are struggling with the "I don't think they ever really loved me...."

It really is the same eternal battles we've had since I firt showed up-but we are fighting them much more quietly now and with less fervor. Because it really doesn't matter where my dryer is, does it?

Monday, August 27, 2007


First thing to a turn around is admitting you are going in the wrong direction. In my case I seem to be going in circles. Ah HAH, the old taking on a million new ideas and never finishing up on anything. What is the old saying? No matter where you go, there you are.

I'm working up to becoming a hoarder I think-vast quantities of stuff that I don't put away-can't let go of. According to TLC, the procrastination isn't laziness, it's mental illness. Some of it, I am convinced, is hereditary. But be that as it may I've got to get back to the mode I was in in January-simplify, sort, get rid of. Doing that under the watchful eye of my parents adds a new degree of difficulty-but bring it on.

Ugh, I hate Mondays.

So, for today, I am just going to make a plan of perhaps 5 to do's and get them done.

1. clean kitchen
2 clean Bette's cage
3. Mow backyard
4 pay bills/mail
5 put away groceries

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Sometimes you just got to sing the blues
Lawd Lawd Lawd
Don't know where to go or what to choose
Lawd Lawd Lawd
I'm here, now what am I suppose to DO?
Lawdy Lawdy Lawdy Lawd
This old girl is getting down and blue

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Wow, I'm really a mess

Sold the kayak, almost aborted the horse project, DID buy 10 horned lizards for breeding. They are threatened and my new deal is to collect, breed critters whose habitat is threatened. Of course, that really applies to almost every species on the planet. But, I have been thinking a lot about horney toads-well, maybe not a lot. But I've thought of them several times lately-how I never see them anymore and how much I enjoyed them as a kid. I saw a lot of 10 for sale, I have the rack space, so why not.

With the sick dog, sick Uncle and aging parents, its kind of nice to have a project that is hopeful and future looking. I'm just in no shape to go off and join the peace corp or picket but I can feed ants to lizards and maybe something good will come of it. I mean really, at this point a small dream is all I can manage, but its better than no dream at all.

I also got a good idea for a good feature story-Odd Farms. I already know of a Rat Farm, a bunch of Snake Farms and I've got lines on others as well. Just got to pitch it, sell it and write it.

I've decided to keep much of my "business" activities to my self for now. I know Mom and Dad are frustrated with my apparent lack of initiative, but bless their heart, they can kill a budding young idea quicker than an April Frost. Old people ARE wise, but not necessarily about what will and won't work in modern business or popular culture. That is a hard thing to realize. In spite of my ever present need to have my own way, I always liked to believe my parents really knew everything that a person needed to know. And they DO, if that person wants to live their life in the same neighborhood with minimal contact to the outside world.

Well, not THIS kid. I've been as far as Dallas Texas! Ok, that was for dramatic effect, I've actually been further down the road.

Point is, I need to take care of my own dreams while I take care of them, because, in the end, the dreams are what I will have left.

I did revisit the urban chicken idea-but was horrified with myself as I watched little banties and calculated how many I could use as snake food today, raise, etc.....I wasn't all that horrified, but the sales lady who came up and said "aren't they just adorable?" probably would have been. Then I realized I was the only woman in the farm store with multiple tattoos, piercings and an undershirt instead of a bra. I just didn't BELONG.

But that isn't true-I bought some things I needed, got some ideas. I just wasn't like everyone else in the store. I'm working really hard to acknowledge this and get over it. Part of coming home to Oklahoma was to explore what it would be like to be the me I've become while I was away. Heaven help the sooner state.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Looong trip to the doctor's office with mom (she's doing better and does not have RA), conference with John's nurse (he fell the other day) and my mind was splitting. What a shock to go from lavished upon guest back to my real world.

Picked up the dogs, more bad news (read poidogz). Came home and the cat had puked on the floor. LAWD LAWD LAWD.

On the plus side, I went to the health food store and just had a bowl of cucumber yogurt soup-homemade and delicious. I've decided that now is not the time to give up all the good habits I developed in Dallas regarding food. Yes you can buy canned goods for 25 cents at Big Giant, but it's not organic, it could be out of date and at the very least it's full of salt. With my reduced capacity, I can afford organic.

Tomorrow I'll go see Uncle John.

Weird to be home

Wow-I feel like I've been hit by a truck. I actually just wheeled myself through the airport, long story, will be complainng to American Airlines. Looking around I see that I'm stuck again-overwhelmed by remnants of my old life crashing with remnants of my new life. I finally get the concept Life is a journey, not a destination-you are never really there. It flows. And in my case, sometimes it gets backed up a bit.

I feel like the answer is just below the surface,or at least AN answer. But these things rarely just come up blooming with trumpets and fanfare. At least not for me.

I hope the key is just to keep moving and trying-that's what I intend to do.

Florida WAS paradise-I loved it. I made no pretense of not loving it-but I'm happy here too. I think I'm just going to broach the subject with my parents and say "I won't move to Florida as long as you guys are alive."

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Homeward bound

Daddy sounded old and tired on the phone. Uncle John has a left a message too-so now I am feeling that old guilt about being "away". I think it's a woman thing-we feel like we have to be available 24/7 in case someone has a thought or a wish or a desire.

Now I have e-mail and cell phone but I've been bad about leaving my cell phone on this week-I've enjoyed being away. And the truth is, I can't afford to go to Mexico for every break I want to take. Sometimes I just need to shut the thing off.

Shutting it off is not the problem-it's the stress of turnng it back on. WHAT if someone called? Even the thought that someone missed me is not comforting-my actions have caused someone to be sad (missing me).

The kids were a great contrast to my elderly kin, but I did get a pang (or two) for my own daughter and my grand daughter whom I've never seen. I'm sending them celestial hugs right now-be safe, know you are loved.

Somehow its safer to have thoughts like that sitting in the Tampa airport waiting for a plane. Sometimes it's good to be where nobody knows your name.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Piercings and snacks

I got my nose pierced and it looks lovely! I've always liked my nose, one of the few things I do like about my body. I also got a piercing high up on my right ear-my left ones never heal, so I am going to give the right ear a go. Never say die.

I'm answering a lot of horse e-mails and I'm ready to go back home now and get moving again on my life. Of course, I still don't have a clue what I'm supposed to do with my life, or how I'm supposed to make money or find time to do all the things I want to do plus all the things I need to do plus all the things I should do.

Sue found the most wonderful yogurt dill soup at Whole Foods today-it reminded me of Mexico. Poor, poor Yucatan Penninsula is getting pounded-please say a prayer for our lovely reef and beaches.

Traveling with "the band" has proven not to be a big deal. As long as I can find a Starbucks I have liquid protein (latte, non fat) and solid protein (almonds). The other fast food pickens are slim-Taco Bell has the all important pintos and cheese, KFC the mashed potatoes. But really, anything involving breakfast will contain enough eggs that you can scrape off. 7-11 has cheese and nuts. It IS easier to pack some things (I have nuts for the plane ride back) and stick to water. Any beverage besides water has a ton of calories-even the fruit juices on the plane.

I personally don't like most mass marketed yogurts-I'm a fage girl all the way!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Wild Dolphins! Wild Manatees!

Sue, Jay, the kids and I took a boat tour and we saw wild dolphins and manatees. I had to use my cane, but I was even able to walk on the island and prowl about. It was a lot of fun.

A few days ago, at the beach Sue found a sea slug and I picked it up. Out came the rectum and it sprayed brilliant purple poo all over my hands. Awesome. After looking at it and the purple poo, I carried it back into the surf.

I seem to be a good job of NOT thinking-and perhaps that is what vacations are for.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Wild Alligators!

I saw my first alligator in the wild yesterday-his head poking up while he floated around in the warm river water. Maya the jungle girl was sitting on my lap and we marveled at it together.

Kids definitely require a lot more stamina than I am used to. Since I've been here we've ridden a bike, swam, and today we are going to the beach! I still get worn out pretty easily, but the body is holding up and actually responding to the workouts. Sue is a bandster so there are plenty of band friendly things around-she's more experienced with mushies than I am.

I've posted this blog address on the OH website, but so little of it is about the band. It incorporated very well and quickly into my life and I'm taking for granted (a little) the fact that I'm just not hungry. And, like all the literature says, as long as I don't drink high calorie liquids,other foods really aren't a problem.

I do think I have a piece of stitch left in my side, but I'm just letting it work its way out-the seawater today will most likely do the job.

Vacations are cool. My brother said "I wish I were a professional vacationer " and I got a bit indignant because I really haven't had a vacation vacation in, well, MONTHS. But really, there was no criticism intended and I do require more vacations than most. Not la-de-da vacations-running around the pool with friend's kids is far more fun than a posh spa-really. I feel more welcome and at home here. In fact, I even suggested I come back and watch the girls while Jay and Sue go somewhere. It would be a good thing for us all-put me out of my comfort zone, give them a break and the kids will most likely survive.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


The past 24 hours have been non stop. Nothing great-just packed full of activity and very little sleep. Everyone has water and food and I am leaving to go to Jay and Sue's, sit and stare at the ocean and wonder what it all means.

In the past 4 hours I have received 4 business related e-mails that require decisions, a phone call from a friend who may go to TJ with me in September and discovered two bills that needed to get paid before I left. But I did get the cat litter out and everyone has food and water. I have pills and clean underwear AND both halves of my swimsuit. Hell, I think I even tossed a comb into the suitcase.

Why do we think we have to take our entire household with us when we go somewhere? I mean REALLY, I went to TJ with an extra pair of shorts, a t-shirt to sleep in and a toothbrush.

I do usually over pack for things like vacation cause I'm not really sure what I'm going to wear....which is really funny when you factor in the fact that it's a matter of which tank top and which T-shirt I want to put on. I am not even going to take a bra since I will burn myself by tomorrow afternoon and won't be able to wear one anyway, hence the extra tank tops.

When I finish losing weight I'm just going to have the girls stapled into position and I'm never going to wear a bra again. They'll need the support-they won't have my belly to lean on.

Let's see, cat litter food, water....driver's license, credit card(s)...See ya later.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Comparison shot

Ok, compare my Oklahoma Help (Daddy) to my Texas help in the previous picture. Sigh....but I wouldn't trade Daddy for the world OR a gorgeous blonde.

The cubicle has landed

Loading the cubicle for the trip to Oklahoma. Note the 2nd tier trash.

Pictures of the Trashpicker (from recent move)

This is first tier trash-the prime stuff.

Gas X Beans and the Band

I had my first event of "head" hunger-I ate dinner late because I hadn't really had enough calories for the day-not because I was hungry. Never, ever eat fat free refried beans after eating cabbage for lunch. It's truly better not to eat at all. Really. I promise.

But Gas X really works. Now gas with fresh tummy scars is a little more painful than regular old gas. I swear my port was bulging but maybe it was my imagination.
Gas X, water and a doze in the recliner and I was ready to go back to bed-however sleep was elusive.

I haven't written much about the lap band because there is nothing to report. I'm not weighing until September (my first fill) and I'm just bopping along learning how to eat without getting ill. I've actually never thrown up, but I'm still new to the band-I'm sure it will happen, but apparently it doesn't have to be an every day thing.

It WOULD be easy to obsess but I am working hard not to. For instance, when I realized I ate because of numbers rather than real hunger, I felt like such a failure-for a few minutes. Then I also realized that if I didn't do things like that, I would never have needed the band.

I also woke up sore this morning from all the snake wrangling I did yesterday-I mean I did a rigtheous amount of manual labor. I was very satisfied and felt like a real snake rancher.

An aquaintance has mentioned he might want to offload some bloods and a reticulated python with an interesting bloodline. The tic is a male and would not likely get longer than 14 feet-but more importantly I have a female with coloration that might niche with this bloodline. So, I am thinking about it.

I've got piles of horse pictures to look at, but my hopes are on a horse owned by a Sister on the Fly. He's a little taller than I wanted, but who better than a middle aged lady to know what another middle aged lady would feel comfortable riding? I'm really concerned with people who try to hard to "sell" a horse because I am not equipped for a problem horse. I need a four legged babysitter.

I may have a dog training client. A friend has a psycho dog and I've offered to give it a go. My mom was worried about zoning rules, etc....they really are opposed to any more animals. Part of me thinks I just should have moved into the country, but the other part really enjoyed taking them lunch today and sharing a meal. Mom will be feeding the chicken while I am away for the remainder of the week-the snakes are on their own.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Much Ado

Nothing more was said about the horse. I took Dottie over last night (I try to take a dog over every night) and was invited to lunch today. Mom is too distracted with my brother coming to visit and our plans to leave a day before HE leaves. He knows about our plans and has plans of his own, but the overlap is making her nuts.

I'm sure there was some discussion along the vein of "she'll do what she pleases" but nothing more was said...OH JOY JOY JOY. Before I actually BUY the horse I will tell her about my plans to go Shark Diving next fall-that should provide a tidy diversion.

I'm bored with not weighing, but I am not going to weigh until I get my band filled. The early days are too up/down all around and it's very tempting to want to keep up the same rate of loss as on the liquid diet-so I really just try not to think about it (weight loss) and focus on what I need to do right now.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Biggest Boogie Man of All

The longest and most painful battle between my parents and I is the battle of the horse. That we are still fighting that battle at this point in our lives is complete psycho nuttery. The way I've avoided the fight is just to not get the horse, and I am no longer willing to do that.

So, in typical Deb fashion, I am looking for a horse trailer. Because, if I can't drive the trailer, I wouldn't be able to go anywhere with the horse, so what good would it do me. I am pretty sure I'll be able to drive the trailer, but I want to KNOW before I get attached to an animal.

I was telling my cousins and Daddy about it when Mom walked up. Dad filled her in and Mom rared back to start in and I raised one hand up and said quietly "Mom, don't start." So she said fine and went home and that awful feeling hit me in the stomach.

Now, I really don't mind having one final conversation, but I am not going to be yelled at in my own front yard in front of the neighbors and relatives. I've never put that boundary up before, so it was a real shocker to us both. However, if I move back to be near my family, help them out and have them help me, I will not do it at the expense of what little self esteem I've garnered over the years.

Mom and Dad are not abusive people-they are loving and loyal and kind. Mom was bringing down homemade jelly to send to my aunt. She'd already given me two jars. She doesn't have to embrace all my dreams, but the least she can do is just not talk about it and certainly not yell about it. Neither one of them have dementia, they just have poor manners sometimes. And truly, telling me how much I don't need a horse and how stupid the idea is in the first place has become a 46 year old habit.

Why? And the answer I can come up with is "it doesn't matter why?" Maybe they couldn't afford a horse, maybe they thought I'd get hurt. (Well for that matter, I did break my arm once.) But it doesn't matter why, because I am an adult and if I want a horse I can have one.

They have come to accept the pythons-they will just have to accept a horse.

After everyone left, I showed Daddy where I was going to plant some roses and he started in on a box that I have had on the front porch for a month. You can't see it from the street. I know he was just annoyed at how messy the house was. Now, the back story is, I bought the boxes for cages that I later decided not to build. But the boxes fit on my little buidling shelves, so I just kept them for storage. But what I said was, calmly and politely "I'll move them when I get to it."

Now, I'm sitting here teary eyed because I KNOW that this is more than about a horse or some plastic boxes. It's about my right to be who I am. And having cut my teeth on this in corporate America, I seem to have been led home to go back and graduate with the root of it all.

In corporate America, you can just fight back. Families are tougher, because they have to have the right to be who they are too. I'm fighting the urge to go bawling down the street and say "I'm sorry I embarrassed you", but the exchange was private between Mom and I; I actually saved her from embarrassing behavior. So, I don't think I'll go apologize.

I certainly will not apologize for wanting something they don't want FOR me, for whatever the reason. Owning a horse isn't close to robbing banks, and I ran the figures and it doesn't come close to the money I spend (was going to say throw away) on vacations, snakes, mountainbikes and serro scotty trailers. Heh, my brother asked me once why I rationalize everything I ever get-well guess what?

So, home now two short months and I am facing down the biggest baddest boogie man of my past. Let me tell you-it's scarey as hell.

Crap-I got so wrapped up I forgot to try to give th chicken to my cousin....

Farewell little dog

One of my next door neighbor's dogs passed away. He is clearly broken up by it. I told him he could bring Daphne (the dauschund) over to play any time he liked. He was worried that she wouldn't react well, but she seemed fine to me-I told him I'd leash the pack up so they could introduce each other one at a time and not overwhelm her.

I don't know the neighbors that well, but their dogs are constantly with them and fairly well mannered, therefore I like them. MY kind of people.


So, I'm sitting here and my house is still wrecked and my cousin is still coming and I have to ask myself, why? Well, my cousin is coming to pick up a bed, but the house is still a wreck. I got up early this morning, drank some coffee and cleaned some snake cages. Took some of the snakes out to play in the trees. Visited with my neighbor. Made a few phone calls.

I am sitting here quietly and trying to get in touch with how I really feel. Really. I don't want the relatives to see a woefully messy house-but it's not really for me-it's for Mom. I personally don't care. Really.

I LIVE here. That mess in the living room is correspondence and to-dos. It's a huge pile, and it daunts me. Would the world fall off its axis if I just opened the door, said hello, and LOOK at this pile of stuff I have to do! Maybe I really want someone to see my piles.

I do wish they were more organized-but I don't want them relegated to the snake room so I can keep a clean living room. I LIVE in my living room. The TV is there, the phone, the window overlooking my roses. WHY would I want to shut myself in the snake room so that my piles are hidden?

Friday, August 10, 2007

2916 Finley

Errands took me to a part of Midwest City that I lived in a LONG time ago. I felt the now familiar feeling of knowing I used to LIVE in this area but I couldn't recognize anything. So I set out to find my old apartment (where I lived after the Scotty). I got so caught up in the search that it wasn't until I pulled up in front that I realized, this was my first apartment. I came home from the hospital with my daughter to that place. I walked around the block when I was in labor with her.

The past washed over me like a tidal wave. I got one of those emotions you feel right in your gut. It wasn't gas, I promise, it was the swelling in your throat and the tightness in what I suppose is the pit of your stomach. I pulled over and just sat around a bit and let it happen.

On the highway headed home, the emotion threatened to overwhelm me when the radio played one of my daughter's favorite songs. I missed her and grieved for her. I didn't try to look away-I never look away from other people's pain, so why should I hide from my own?

I turned off and found a few more firsts on the way home-one of the first bars I ever snuck into loomed into sight. That brought on a warm feeling-right in the pit of my stomach and a smile. I know emotions and food and overeating are all centered in the pit of the stomach-I just wish I knew why.

I was tired and really wanted to go home-only I took wrong turn because I've only been back a month or so and things aren't easily on autopilot yet. So I wallowed in the angst of that.

Then, I heard in the back of my mind, Ceasar Milan's voice saying "the dog lets it go, it isn't happening now. Only the human hangs on". And then I saw myself bringing my infant daughter home again, and just got a warm feeling in the old stomach pit-because that was a happy memory.

I've learned a new survival trick, or at least I think I have. Look at each memory as a moment-live that moment, but don't replay the remainder of the story that happened after. If you do that, you'll never get to the present.

When the sad parts tried to come back, I said (in Ceasar Milan's voice)"it's not happening now...let it go;" and you know what? It did. It went. Cool.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Turning the tide

Sheesh-for someone trying to live the simple life I still bring in an awful lot of stuff. Lately snake cages, an exercise machine and food have been coming in. (No job means cooking for one's self again). Time for some outflow-

So I craigslisted the kayak. That was tough-I've never actually used it-but now that I am not in Dallas I can't find a group to start kayaking with. And realistically, I won't do it alone.

And...the cubicle. It's taking up valuable real estate in the garage, and now that I'm HERE, I can borrow Daddy's truck, and my cousin has a flatbed I could probably borrow. I looked at converting it into a camper-but that is a recipe for an expensive disaster.

Still trying to rehome the dog sulky-maybe I SHOULD get a big old dog and trot it around with my sulky.

Cousin is coming to pick up the mattress and the treadmill on Saturday-so I will have oodles of space and I can start putting up shelves, setting up the snake room.

It's all about letting go of what you don't use to make room for what you will use.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Where did this wall come from?

Emotionally, I'm at a wall. My house is, well, a mess. It didn't turn in to the Better Homes and Garden place I thought it would-although the Garden does look nice. I still don't know what I'm going to do to earn a living. Mom has been diagnosed with rhuematoid arthritis and that scares me.

So, what's a girl to do? Well, I'm turning the sunroom into a gym-Mom is addicted to walking and that isn't going to be a good thing any more. So I'm getting her a stationary bicycle so she doesn't have to depend on the trike and me going to the park every day. I'm thinking of putting in weights for me. We may or may not work out together-we haven't worked that part out.

And, I'm going to Florida next week to see Sue and Jay. No sense in sitting here crying mea culpa-I'm well enough to travel, I have a free ticket, and maybe things will shake loose in my head. Sometimes when the going gets tough you just have to make your way to a beach. The ocean really does help me clear my head.

On the lap band front I ate some pulverized chicken-heaven I tell you, sheer heaven. Pulverized chicken smashed with pears from my backyard-yes, I have weird taste, but I'm telling you, it was greatness.

Mom is cooking fish today and then we are going to see Uncle John. Oh yeah I remember now, this is what I came to Oklahoma to do=spend more time with family. And that part I really enjoy. It's a shame society doesn't put as much value on that as it does on the career thing.

And, by golly, I have a pretty pot of hibiscus in front of my house and some new fencing for the front flower bed. Loading the fencing into the truck laid me up a bit, but I'm going to try unloading it and planting the fence tonight. You know what, I AM making progress. I forget to reward progress, only results. I gotta work on that.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Looking Back

Yesterday I drove to Lewisville to pick up a snake rack. On the way back I drove through Denton. Denton is becoming another suburb of Dallas-there really isn't a band of country between the two towns now. Corinth took care of that.

I was glad to see that the houses on Normal street (where I lived for awhile, really) had been repaired, (hopefully up to code now) but not torn down and modernized. The house next to the house I lived in is now a tatoo parlor. Yeah! "My" house had been painted AND a sign put up with a business name of the "apartments". I don't think it was originally an apartment house-I think it was just a big house. But I loved that place, despite the lack of heat in the winter and the fact that we all heard everyone's orgasms. Ah yes, those were boho days. I was in my mid 30's at the time....

Now I'm mid forties and determined to be responsible. So, I've quit my "career" again and moved back to Oklahoma where the job market is always dismal. Yes, moving home may be the riskiest thing I've done in a long while and I really can't share that with family without insulting them. They love this place and so do I. But jeesh, talk about jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.

Friday, August 3, 2007

So it goes and goes and goes

Mom's hip is acting up-she can barely walk. Daddy wants me to go to the doctor with her and I think that's a good idea. She tends to downplay things and doesn't listen very well any more.

The spotties and Cody are at the kennel. Greta and I are driving to Texas tomorrow to pick up a snake rack. Greta actually likes riding in the car, and I will enjoy the company.

I took my stitches out and felt immediately better. Stitches in a fat belly just aren't pleasant. They itch with every wiggle and jiggle.

I'm studiously NOT thinking about what I am going to do to earn a living. Eventually I will have to do something, but I'd like to give fate an opportunity to jump in. It's been doing a good job so far.